Thursday, January 13, 2011

Why I prefer sculptures over paintings..

"Agora" by Magdalena Abakanowicz, one of my fav. public installations in Chicago..

Anyone who knows me, or has browsed through my blog, would know that I prefer sculptures over paintings.
The choice is more instinctive, but I have been asked this question many times, and it made ponder..

Here are some interesting aspects of sculptures..

Aesthetics meets physics [and chemistry].. Sculptures begins with sketches, but then there is the entire process of mold making, wax-casting, shell-making, metal pouring, chasing, sand-blasting, painting, patina. There's use of different materials like iron, steel, aluminium, bronze, wood, stone.. each with their own characteristics and each react differently to the elements of nature.. I find the entire process of fabrication of sculptures to be incredibly fascinating..

Preston Jackson at work.. wax-stage, to be ultimately bronze cast..

Here's another of Preston Jackson's work ..
Photograph of a dead whale and the draft sketches from there..

Preston Jackson, working on the Whale sculpture
"Making art can be a very lonely process".. - Preston Jackson..

Richard Hunt in his studio..
It's an amazing experience to see something so delicate and beautiful coming out of that heat and fire.. "In some of my works, it is my intention to develop the kind of forms Nature might create if only heat and steel were available to it.. - Richard Hunt..

I remember how Terrence Karpowicz had finished with the sand-blasting of his sculpture "Finish" by March this year and was waiting for the first day of good weather [with high enough temperature] to paint. He needed 70 plus degrees to paint and the very first day the weather hit 70 degrees, the painting was completed!

Ruth Aizuss Migdal, with her incomplete work "Whirling Dervish" at the fabrication. Now of course, the piece is completed.

To repeat, the entire process of mold making, wax-casting, shell-making, metal pouring, chasing, sand-blasting, painting, patina... is incredibly fascinating to me..

To add, I find sculptures to be more interactive. Rather than finding a place on the wall, they occupy space making them interact more directly to the environment around them.. Here's Anish Kapoor's "Could Gate", or as Chicagoans call it, The Bean". Arguably one of the most popular pieces of Public Art in Chicago.

Then there are some hidden jewels, like this "Daphne" by Dessa Kirk, in Northerly Islands.. made out of discarded Cadillac parts..

And that partially explains, why I'm a fan of sculptures, especially Public Art, out in the open, weathering the ravages of nature, keeping it's beauty intact, interacting with the environment and available for all to enjoy!

I sincerely THANK all the artists who have welcomed me in their homes and studios, giving me better insight into the making of sculptures and the life of an artist.


Anonymous said...

Jyoti you are right on the money not only when you discribe the anticipation of my puting a finish on Finish but then entire process you so elequantly discribe. Is this the opening chapter in your book??

Jyoti said...

Thank You so much Terry for your comment..
I think I need to develop the idea a bit more... However it can be the opening chapter..

Anonymous said...

This is great Jyoti, and so well said. It's exciting to see that the sculpture community has found it's "voice".

Jyoti said...

That's Christine, I guess!
Thank You so much for your wonderful words.. I hope I live up to it!
We got to meet again, soon..

Anonymous said...

This is not only the best blog on Public Art in Chicago. It is one the best blogs anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Great post. The process and problem solving involved in translating thought into physical dimensional form is probably my biggest reason for pursuing sculpture over other forms of expression. Sometimes I feel like the end piece is the byproduct of something bigger.


Jyoti said...

I am very curious who "j" would be...
Thanks for your comment
You have articulated your thoughts very well..

nicole beck said...

It's been really great to have you in our corner and with such a great "eye." Your pics are simply gorgeous~ sculpture is not easy to photograph! Thanks.

Jyoti said...

Aww Thanks Nicole!
Great sculptures help a lot!
We got to meet...

Spudart said...

I just discovered your blog, and now you have a new subscriber. Great points on creating sculpture is different than painting. The nature, the physicalness, the process. The reality of the sculpture existing in in space.

It's shed new light on why I enjoy sculpture.

I'm curious what you think of Calder's mobiles. They are three-dimensional, but they are also (in my mind) very two-dimensional in a way. The show at the Museum of Contemporary Art of his works revealed to me how little they actually move.

Jyoti said...

Hi Spudart -
Welcome to this blog!
I'm glad I found another soul who prefers sculptures over paintings..

About Alexander Calder - I love his work!! Very colorful, playful and would enliven any trite space. I saw his "Mobile" sculpture at Milwaukee Art Msueum..

You are right in pointing out they look almost two dimensional and they move very little.. However I am no expert on Calder.. Except for liking his work, whenver I have seen them, I have no in-depth knowledge on his body of work!

Jyoti said...

Here's Jennyfur Dickson's comment on my FB, cut-pasted here.. I had to save it in my blog..

I love anything that engages and uses the environment around it. There are a few 2D artists that have done a pretty good job of doing that, although I think of them more as in the category of full blown installation because of it. As far as painting, Rothko would be one. As far as blatant public work, Banksy and JR. Because I'm a sculptor I'm inclined to be a little more impressed with their work. It's not something I can wrap my mind around. It seems a little more difficult to conceive and instigate.

HeatherSays said...

Jyoti, I so appreciate all the photos and insights you share on your blog. Where is the last sculpture located? I's like to visit these winged women.

Jyoti said...

Thanks Heather!
Your comment is much appreciated..

Anonymous said...

You never cease to amaze, Jyoti! Beautiful photos of wonderful sculptures with eloquent commentary. As Ira Gershwin once wrote: "Who could ask for anything more." Al Kuhn

Jyoti said...

Thanks Al!